'We hope for change:' Relatives of Jacob Blake rally at Seattle City Hall
Family members of Jacob Blake in the Puget Sound region voiced their anger, fear, and hope today in Seattle.
Nicki Blake Chafetz is the aunt of Jacob Blake, who was shot this week by police officer Rusten Sheskey in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Chafetz lives in Auburn, Wash.
She spoke out against continuing police brutality at a rally in front of Seattle City Hall.
“We told them to stop after Trayvon. We told them to stop after Sandra Bland. We told them to stop after Philando Castile. We especially told them to stop after George Floyd,” Chafetz said. “Now, after the attempted execution of my nephew, we are telling them to stop again. We need people to listen and figure out how to solve this problem.”
Chafetz said one solution is to defund the police and use the money to support communities and prevent crime instead.
Chafetz wants people in the Puget Sound region to show up to every protest there is in her nephew’s name, and said she’s calling for peaceful participation.
She added that she has been watching her brothers speaking on TV in the Midwest.
“I heard Jacob yesterday say on the news that he demands that all protests in his son’s name be peaceful. I’m talking to you!” she said. “We don’t want any broken windows. We don’t want any people hurt. I don’t want my children hurt.”
Chafetz is a former criminal defense attorney and has analyzed the video of the shooting of Jacob Blake by watching it over and over. Yet she is at a loss for how to stop police violence from re-occurring in the future, she said.
“I cannot draft legislation to stop this. It’s illegal now!” she said.
Chafetz also shared the mic with her son and cousin to Jacob Blake, Elliot Chafetz.
“There are two things today — two strong emotions — that we’re all feeling: fear and hope,” he said, to applause. “Hope is not the antithesis of fear —hope is caused by fear. We fear our future, so we hope for change.”
Nicki Blake Chafetz will be joining a Black Lives Matter march for her nephew on Sunday. It’s planned to take place in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, down the street from Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct.